Season 3, Episode 3: The Chains of Freedom
Recap by Filbertfox


Well...the trailers looked brilliant for this episode...will we be disappointed???

I'm prepared...I have twenty fags, a four-pack of 'Red Bull' and a freshly brewed pot of super-strength you sitting comfortably??? Then I shall begin...

The episode kicks off with Josh and Denny greeting each other in the yard...she's understandably surprised that he's back working inside and asks him if he's caught up with Crystal, he's extremely cagey when he replies in the negative (relationships between prison staff and ex-inmates must be taboo then - fanfic writers take note!!) and makes a quick getaway before she can question him further...unfortunately for him, he runs smack-bang into Yvonne...ooooh, the look she gives him as he scurries away is rather like the ones she used to aim in Dominic's direction in s1ep10...wonder if Josh will be finding a Harley-Davidson waiting outside the prison gates for him...anyway...

Karen Betts!!!! A real sight for a pair of sore eyes that have been making do with 'Emmerdale' re-runs on Granada Plus for the past week...turns out the gorgeous guv has good news for the Julies - she favours Julie S with a swoonsome smile and informs her that her application for tagging has been successful...the Julies automatically think that this applies to both of them...

Both Julies : We're getting out!!!

...and break into an impromptu war-dance...but, the fair Miss Betts brings them back down to earth with a bump and informs Julie J that her application has been turned down...

Karen : That little incident - giving the hand-job under the table in the visitor's room didn't help you much.
Julie S : But...
Both Julies : That was nothing!
Karen : It's out of my hands, no pun intended.

Oooooh...waffly, swoony moment here...the little ironic eye-roll thing that Karen did there caused huge flooding in the Stoke On Trent area!!!!

Okay, all hormones safely back in their little boxes now...where was I??? Oh yeah, this revelation leaves Julie S in a bit of a dilemma...does she get the hell out of Larkhall, or does she stay with Julie J????

Up on the G3 landing...Bodybag's filling Di Barker in on her latest plan...turns out that the Union won't support an all-out strike, so the rotund one has decided that all of the officers should call in sick...Di points out that this will look suspicious, but Bodybag points out that under law, they're allowed to call in sick for 7 days before having to produce a sick-note from a GP...

Di : And then?
Bodybag : Well, I know I won't have any difficulty getting the necessary from my GP

LMAO!!! Huge double-entendre moment there...who else had a vision of Bodybag 'getting the necessary' from her GP???? What would Bobby think???

As they get to the bottom of the stairs, they run into Karen and Di takes the opportunity to ask her if she's heard from Dominic...Karen informs them both that Dominic won't be returning - he met someone whilst on holiday in Greece and has decided to stay there...Di's obviously heart-broken, but Bodybag reacts exactly as we expected her to...

Bodybag : He never was much of a Prison Officer - too wet!

And as Bodybag and Karen return to the officers' room, Di's left mooning around like a wet weekend in Skegness.

Meanwhile, the Julies are mopping the floor...note, footwear here is two rather nice pairs of white clogs...

Julie S : Oh, this is pants!

Julie J decides to do the noble thing and tells Julie S that she won't hold it against her if she decides to leave...and it's like a bit from a bad Catherine Cookson novel (oooops! misprint there, we all know that there isn't actually such a thing as a good Catherine Cookson novel!!!)...

"Go my darling; I don't want to hold you back."
"But I cannot leave you."
"But you must."
"But how will you cope without me?"
"I go."
"Oh, are you sure?"
"Yes, I am cannot keep a beautiful bird of paradise in a cage, you must release it and allow it to my darling, fly!"

Or in the Julies' case - 'Run Forrest...RUN!!!'

Ooooops...I'm getting all waffly again ain't I??? this conversation, it is also revealed that the Julies only actually have a couple of months left on their they're not serving the world's longest stretch for soliciting then??? Oh my God!!!! This means that they might not be in it for that much longer then...and the thought of Larkhall without the Julies is as terrible as Zandra going the whole of series two without saying 'twat' once...unthinkable!!! But they did it...godammitalltohell!!!

Up in the office, Karen comes across Helen who is photocopying...hmmmm...more of Nikki's files or an illicit print of her bum??? Anyway...hugely significant moment here...

Karen : Looking for me?
Helen : No, I don't think so. (Only she pronounces it - 'Nooooo, I dooon't think sooo' Ėcoz she's Scottish, innit?)

You don't have to be Carol Vorderman to work out that things are more than a little strained between the two...

Karen : Have you got a second?

Oh dear...looks like Helen's been picking up strop techniques from Nikki because she makes it very clear that she doesn't want to spend any sort of time with Karen...the look on her face as she follows Karen into her office would curdle milk at twenty paces...

Karen : Look Helen, I know that Jim Fenner's got his faults, but if I thought that if what happened in Shell Dockley's cell was because of any wrong-doing of his Iíd have his balls on a skewer, I hope you know that.
Helen : I am not calling your integrity into question Karen (serious reply but for some reason she looks like she's going to erupt into huge belly chuckles - must be the thought of Fenner's balls on a skewer!!).
Karen : seemed that way.
Helen : I'm looking for a motive, why Shell stuck that bottle into Jim. Now, I think that when she heard about your relationship with him it sent her over the edge.
Karen : She's really obsessed with him, isn't she?
Helen : Or you.

Karen here looks like Helen's just offered to bend her over the desk and roger her with a cucumber...e.g. total and utter shock.

Helen : She trusted you, she told you things about her childhood, things that she never told anyone else. I think she thought that you'd tell Jim and he'd make a laughing stock of her.
Karen : Christ!

Up in the Julies' cell...looks like Julie J's having second thoughts...

Julie J : Please don't go Jue.

Julie J begs her partner in crime to stay, insisting that she won't be able to cope in Larkhall without her...

Julie J : Please say you'll stay Jue.
Julie S : I can't Jue!

Julie J continues to plead but Julie S is adamant...she has to be out to see David perform in the school play...

Julie S : I can't...I just can't.
Julie J : You mean you won't you selfish cow!

Oh my God!!! Stop press!! The Julies are arguing!!! The world has stopped turning!! Nikki's stopped throwing tantrums!! Bodybag is in fact a female impersonator called Harry!!! Okay okay, you get the idea...

Julie S : (Understandably shocked) What?
Julie J : Oh I see it all now! Too bad I didn't see it before; you're just like all the rest of 'em ain't ya? Just out for yourself!
Julie S : (Almost speechless) Jue!
Julie J : You 'eard me! Sod off out of it! And stop calling me Jue! My name is Sonia!

Whoa!!!! Hold on there for a mo!!! Sonia???????? Sprung that one on us out of nowhere didn't they???

Julie J : I hate people calling me Jue, always have...and I hate you! So piss off! (Does a Nikki and turns to face the wall)

Julie S is left with a trembling bottom lip and a look on her face like Bodybag's just given her a quick flash of her boobs...i.e. total and utter shock.

The following day we get a shot of the inmates banging on their cell doors and a deserted wing before the camera settles on an extremely harassed looking Karen taking a phone call from Bodybag...turns out that ye olde Bodybag's got her revenge because all of G-Wing's officers have called in sick with 'stress'. As Karen conducts the conversation, the camera pans round her desk to reveal the Fat Controller with a worried look on his face...

Karen : (Slams down phone) Shit!
Stubberfield : How many's that?
Karen : The whole lot, all mysteriously struck down with the stress bug...this is a nightmare!
Stubberfield : Well we'll have to do something.

And the Fat Controller's solution??? An announcement over the (until now, unknown about) public address system...

LMAO!!! Okay, apologies to the non-Brits here...but how many of you were transported back to Saturday afternoons and 'Hi-De-Hi'???? I was rolling about the floor here because I half expected Ruth Madoc to say - 'Hi-De-Hi Campers! We hope we'll all be seeing you this evening for a fancy dress competition in the Hawaiian ballroom...'

Anyway, Stubberfield announces that lunch will be served in the prisoner's cells and that association and visits have been cancelled, which of course, is greeted in the obvious way...

Yvonne : What the bloody 'ell's going on? (Bangs on cell door) Oi! You can't do this to us! This ain't a bleedin' zoo! (Bangs on door again) My daughter's coming in today! (Walks over to the wall) Is this down to you Dockley? Why don't you piss off back to the muppet wing where you belong with the rest of the nutters?

Okay, so now we're all wondering...

a) How we're going to cope now that our hopes of seeing Lauren in her leather trousers have been well and truly dashed.
b) What Shell's still doing on Enhanced.
c) How Yvonne can welcome her back onto the wing like the conquering hero one minute and and have a go at her the next.

But Shell's not bothered, she's got more important things to worry about - her roots need doing desperately!!

Nikki's got problems too...namely that grotesque dressing-gown they insist on forcing her to doesn't half hang off her like Mama Cass's caftan as she paces up and down the cell like a force-ten hurricane...

Nikki : I'm supposed to be seeing my solicitor this morning! (Waves blue plastic cup in the air coz she's that pissed off) What is it? They keep us shitting banged up!
Barbara : (Sensible voice of reason) What he said, it's circumstances beyond their control.
Nikki : What's beyond their control in this place? F all!
Barbara : Well maybe not, but banging on the door and shouting isn't going to get anyone anywhere!
Nikki : (Slightly chastened) But this meeting's important.
Barbara : (Relenting) I know, but there'll be another meeting, don't worry.
Nikki : I've got to get my case together for the CCRC, it's the only chance Iíve got of getting out of here. (Hops from foot to foot like she's just snorted a ten quid wrap of whizz before turning to bang her cup on the door) BASTARRRRRRRRRDS!!!!

And all the other inmates take this as a cue to object in the strongest possible terms...Shaz and Denny in particular are loving the drama as they make use of every bangable surface in their cell...


Shaz & Denny : WANKERS!!!!

Outside at the gate, Karen, Helen and the Fat Controller survey the situation...

Helen : This could go on forever! (Turns to Stubberfield) Why don't you let them out? See how they manage running things for themselves.
Stubberfield : (Looks at Helen like she's just offered to whip on a pair of woolly mittens and give him hand relief...i.e. total and utter shock) After everything that's happened?
Helen : It's been done before, they're hardly gonna escape are they?
Stubberfield : Don't get me wrong, it would make my life a lot easier.
Karen : I think we should try it, on one condition - Shell Dockley stays on cellular confinement.
Helen : Okay, but she's behind a door for weeks now, we can't keep her there forever.
(Now in agreement, both Karen and Helen turn to the Fat Controller)
Karen : It's up to you Simon.

Stubberfield, extremely reluctantly, nods his consent and the two guvs are off into action like greyhounds sprung from a trap...Karen's straight up those stairs (and we get a brilliant back view of her in that gorgeous pin-striped suit) before she goes to let Julie S out...

Julie J even refuses to say goodbye, and it's a hugely crestfallen, not to mention bricking her pants nervous Julie S who steps out of the front gate of the prison to be greeted by...


What a sight for sore eyes!!! Anyway, it turns out that Julie S has had Monica on a bit of a mission...

Julie S : So, did you have any luck? Did you manage to get to speak to him?
Monica : Mmmmm, I think it came as a bit of a bolt out of the blue.
Julie S : Will he see me?
Monica : He might come out tonight.

Who the blinkin' flip are they on about??? Oh well, no doubt we'll find out soon enough... anyway, Julie S's bottom lip starts to quiver again and she's more than a little tearful as her and Monica drive away.

End of Part One...

7 adverts...well...could be worse I suppose!!!

Part Two...

Stubberfield and Karen let all of the inmates out of their cells...they can't believe their luck...

Shaz : It's gonna be like Christmas with all of the screws out of the way!
Denny : The governor must've gone stupid to let us all out like this!

Meanwhile, Karen's doing her trolley-dolly routine as she serves Shell with her lunch...if she was a stewardess for 'Virgin', there's no way she'd still be 'intacta' if I was around!!! Anyway, I digress...again!!!...

Karen : Here's your lunch.
Shell : Come down in the world ain't ya?
Karen : We've got some problems today.
Shell : Still let everyone out though d'int ya? Except me.
Karen : You're back on Basic regime Shell.
Shell : Who says? I ain't 'ad no adjudication.
Karen : We haven't got the officers.
Shell : You're just pissed off because when Fenner was supposed to be giving you one, he was shoving it up me instead!
Karen : (Losing her cool slightly) If Iím pissed off with you it's because you nearly killed one of my officers! Nothing else!
Shell : So I was supposed to just lie back and thank him afterwards was I? S'pose you think that's all Iím worth, after all, I let me old man pork me didn't I?
Karen : No, that's not what I think Shell.
Shell : You tell Fenner did ya? He'd've loved that.
Karen : No! I didn't! I'll never tell him or anyone else about what happened to you as I child, I gave you my word on it.

Swoon moment...don't you just love the way she raises her eyebrow when she's making a point???


The dialogue below takes place between Helen & Nikki, just after all the inmates of G-wing are let out of their cells:-

Helen : Nikki!
Nikki : Hi.
Helen : How are things?
Nikki : I'm getting by.
Helen : Listen. I managed to convince No 1 Governor and Karen to let everyone out of their cells, but I don't want it blowing up in my face. Can you keep an eye on things?
Nikki : (With that patented Kevin the Teenager look) Come on, you know I don't like
playing the prefect.
Helen : Look, if anyone steps out of line, it's gonna mean that you all get banged up again and none of us wants that, do we?
Nikki : I suppose not. I've already missed a meeting with my solicitor this morning.
Helen : We can set up another meeting. Things are moving, so don't worry.
Nikki : (Smiling) How about you?
Helen : Oh, don't ask! I've got this bloody report to do on Shell's attack on Jim Fenner.
Nikki : Well, I hope you hang the bastard out to dry.
Helen : (Shakes head) It's not gonna happen.
Nikki : What?
Helen : Look, there is nothing to back up Shell's claim that Fenner was trying to rape her. She smuggled a broken bottle back from Sylvia's party. (Nikki looks disgusted, Helen moves closer) I mean, Shell was out to get Fenner.
Nikki : (Extremely pissed off) So the lucky bastard rides again, eh?
Helen : (With a knowing smirk) I'm afraid I couldn't possibly comment!!!

The dynamite duo exchange smiles and then head off in opposite directions.

Down on the wing, Shaz and Denny are supposed to be wiping the tables whilst dressed in rather fetching blue overalls but muck around as usual and end up wiping more of each other as they hum a tune, my God!! It's the anti-Julies!!! Julie J watches this little display with an incredulous look on her face before storming off back to her cell.

Meanwhile, the inmates start to wolf-whistle as Josh wanders through the wing, Nikki's suspicious...

Nikki : Where are you off to?
Josh : The usual, blocked drain, innit?
Yvonne : Wouldn't mind him giving my drain a good rodding! (Watches Josh disappear up the stairs like a cheetah would scope out a juicy looking impala)

By the way...quite a few peeps have pointed out that Yvonne's looking extremely good this series...there's a few of us out here who wouldn't mind the rodding treatment
ourselves!!!! But back to the action...

Nikki : Yeah? If you want to get us all locked up again.
Yvonne : Why? Who's gonna catch us?
Nikki : Well suppose Josh in't up for it?
Yvonne : Are you saying I can't pull?
Nikki : What I'm saying, is that if you're so desperate for it, find someone on the same side of the wire, no one would bat an eyelid. It's a lot easier and you won't end up down the block.
Yvonne : (Looks at Nikki like she'd just announced a secret wish to check out the contents of Dawn's knickers...i.e. total and utter shock) You're joking? Turn lezzie? (Grimaces and shudders) I'd rather shag bleedin' Fenner first!

Barbara is concerned about Julie J who is lying on her bunk like a soggy bit of lettuce and sobbing her fluffy slippers off...Barbara gives her the 'cheer up, jolly hockey sticks' routine and Julie J seems to cheer up a bit...well, until Barbara leaves the cell and a rather pensive expression replaces the false smile.

On the outside, Julie S has just been fitted with her electronic tag, Monica is very impressed...

Monica : Ooh, very nice, a twenty-first century ball and chain!

Julie S explains that an electronic device has been fitted to Monica's phone and if she isn't in the vicinity of the device within 6.45pm and 6.45am it'll...

Julie S : Send up the balloon.
Monica : And you'll end up back in Larkhall.
Julie S : Yeah, so Iíd better keep me eye on the time and 'ope me watch don't stop!

Julie S tells Monica about the argument she had with Julie J and that she's worried how she's going to cope inside without her. Monica is concerned but points out that Julie J's still got a lot of friends inside and anyway, Julie S has got more important things to worry about, namely, this mystery bloke that keeps cropping up into the conversation...Julie S admits that she is slightly nervous...

Julie S : Tell you summat Mon, never mind the bricks, Iím shitting three-bed bloody semis!

Back on the wing, Yvonne, looking wonderfully predatory (not to mention bloomin' sexy) in her leather jacket, creeps up on Josh as he's bending down unblocking that drain, he's understandably surprised...

Josh : What you doing?
Yvonne : What? Don't tell me that no-one's ever felt your arse before? A nice little one like that? It's beggin' for it.
Josh : Well next time knock or something yeah?
Yvonne : Fair enough. (pushes Josh back onto the bed) Knock, knock.

Yvonne makes it obvious that she's interested, but Josh ain't...Yvonne isn't put off though...

Yvonne : I ain't interested in hearts and flowers Josh, I just want a quick shag.

Josh, rather crushingly, declares that Yvonne's 'too old' for him and flees the room quicker than a rat up a drainpipe...Yvonne is left with a hugely pissed off look on her face and a mood she's quick to take out on Shaz and Denny who are doing the 'Bash Street Kids' act in the kitchen and throwing food at each other...


Shaz and Denny do the 'it was her fault Miss', 'no it wasn't, it was her fault' routine but
Yvonne quickly puts a stop to it...again, Denny is closer to the mark than intended and
we're put in mind of her innocent 'out and proud right?' comment to Dominic during s2ep12 just after his discovery about Helen and Nikki...

Denny : What's got into you man?

Obviously nothing, because Yvonne screams at them to clear the place up and we get a very significant shot of the knife cupboard where all knives are present and accounted for...hmmmmmm...looks like a bit of an obvious 'watch the knife, here one minute, gone the next' plot type device...rather along the lines of Monica's pill counting frenzy (most of series one) and Helen's pathetic attempt at hiding the letter from Nikki's solicitor (s2ep13)...

Obviously not...because in the very next scene, a hand is seen taking the knife from the cupboard.

Out on the wing, Denny and Shaz are leading a singalong - 'She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes', only in this version, she'll be crutching jellies rather than wearing pink pyjamas...maybe it's some sort of tribute to Zandra...but anyway, we've got another brilliant Nikki/Yvonne moment coming up...

Yvonne : So how comes I never see you with any of the others?
Nikki : (Straining to hear over the noise in the background) Come again.
Yvonne : Well it's like what you were saying earlier, I mean, you're a good-looking woman, you could have your pick in here couldn't you? (And we're wondering if this is an ironic moment because the camera pans to Shaz and Denny who are hopping up and down on top of a table like loons)
Nikki : Yeah.
Yvonne : You got someone on the outside?
Nikki : (Very obviously) No!
Yvonne : What? No one in 'ere good enough for you?
Nikki : Who do you think you are? Jeremy bloody Paxman?
Yvonne : It's just I suppose I can see why some women are up for it...well, it's not until you're in a place like this that you wouldn't believe how much you miss having a fella to hold you at night. (Brilliant, brilliant eye-meet between N&Y...Nikki's dead serious and Yvonne's looking almost wistful) Those shitty beds can be bloody empty some nights, no matter how narrow they are.

And it looks for all the world like Yvonne's asking Nikki to give her not??

No...obviously not...Nikki puts a supportive arm around Yvonne's shoulders but she ain't having any of it...

Yvonne : No...(shrugs Nikki's arm off) don't go getting any ideas!
Nikki : Come on, you might like it.
Yvonne : I said I was down, not bloody desperate right?

Nikki's pissing herself laughing at this point and Yvonne is obviously a woman with a serious case of sexual frustration!!!

At the halfway house...Monica is trying to explain the plot of 'MacBeth' to Julie S...

Monica : 'MacBeth'? It's one of Shakespeare's tragedies.
Julie S : What? You mean it ain't no good?

Hmmm, rather like trying to explain second order differential equations to Denny isn't it Monica??? But our Mon isn't deterred and ploughs on regardless...

Monica : And MacBeth, egged on by his wife, kills the King, Duncan, but he ends up being killed himself.
Julie S : Eh? Given away the ending now ain't ya?

But then there's a knock at the door and the mystery man turns out to be a bloke called

And back at the prison, a hand is seen hiding the knife under a sheet...

End of Part Two...

Only 6 ads this time...thank God!!!

Part Three...

Julie S is busy spinning a load of flannel to Trevor about her and Monica being holiday reps, hence her being totally non-existent for the last few years...Monica, who we know is always good to have around in a crisis, jumps in before we can and explains their lack of suntans by saying that they've recently been working in Belgium and Norway...Trevor reveals that he's a mechanic...

Julie S : I always thought you'd end up doing something like that. (Turns to Monica) Always was good with a tool in 'is 'and was Trevor.

Monica, after nearly having a tea-spitting moment, makes her excuses and leaves them to it and we find out that Trevor was Julie's childhood sweetheart and David's father...the two were split up by his parents when they found out she was pregnant but he always wonders whether they'd still be together if that hadn't happened. There's a hopeful look on Julie's face as she enquires after Trevor's marital status - turns out he's got two kids but is divorced from their mother...she tells him about David and it's obvious that he's thinking about starting again where they left off all those years ago...awwwwww!!!

Back on the wing, mob rule an extra stands on a table belting out an Army style marching song...

Extra : We don't want the screws back in!
Inmates : We don't want the screws back in!
Extra : Keep the shit bags off the wing!
Inmates : Keep the shit bags off the wing!

Meanwhile, Yvonne makes an inspection of the kitchen, Denny's proud of the fact that it's spotlessly clean, but Yvonne's noticed the missing knife...

Yvonne : Where's the knife?
Denny : What knife?
Yvonne : The one that ain't bleedin' there! (Denny looks back at her vacantly) Bloody hell! It's that mate of yours, stupid bitch!

Ooops, looks like Shaz is in for the high jump!!!

Back at the halfway house, Julie's seeing Trevor off the premises...he's agreed to come to David's play but wonders whether it's the right thing to do, Julie reassures him that David's been going on at her to meet his real Dad and that him being there will be the best birthday present he could have...Trevor thinks about this and agrees...just as he steps out of the front door, he comments on the fact that Julie's done really well for herself and admits that her posh house and the fact that David's in public school makes him look like a 'waster'...Julie has a hugely guilty look on her face as she swiftly changes the subject and the pair share a quick kiss before he leaves, Julie closes the door, now obviously caught up in another dilemma...should she come clean with him or not???

Back on the wing and a peaceful moment follows...Shaz is serenading the other inmates with a guitar and a rendition of 'Scarboro Fair' and...hold on...back up there for a second... are we supposed to believe that someone like Shaz would know the words, not to mention the chords to an old Simon & Garfunkel folk song??? But that's beside the the thoughtful looks on a few of the familiar faces; it looks like we're in for a few poignant moments before the song is finished...

Meanwhile, Yvonne is frantically searching the dorm while Denny keeps watch, but she's adamant that Shaz didn't steal the knife...Yvonne isn't convinced though and carries on regardless...anyway, back to that poignant moment...

Nikki : Beautiful isn't it?
Julie J : Lovely, yeah.
Nikki : Makes you think about all the people you're missing on the outside, dunnit?
Julie J : Yeah.
Nikki : Wonder how Julie's getting on in the big wide world eh?
Julie J : Fine I s'pose.
Nikki : And you're getting on alright without her?
Julie J : Me? Yeah, spectacular I am...well, you can't live in someone else's shadow all your life can ya? You just wither up, like an old pot-plant...I used to have my own life you know, just realising now that Iím gettin' it back, ain't I?

This scene is interrupted by Yvonne who's well and truly on the war-path...

Yvonne : (To Nikki) Listen, we've got a problem...a big one!

Yvonne, Nikki, Denny and Julie J troop off for a council of war while Shaz receives a round of applause.

Alone and locked up in her cell, Shell is feeling the strain...

Shell : You lot have a good time! Enjoy yourselves! Every bastard one of ya! Just remember, it's me you gotta fank for it all...ME!!!

And she throws herself to the cell floor kicking her arms and legs and scweams and scweams and scweams until she's sick!!! Well, she doesn't really, but she might as well do...

In the kitchen, the gang confront Shaz...

Shaz : It's a fair cop, I was only gonna chop up a couple of screws with it, no big deal!
Yvonne : You stupid bitch! Catch that brain cell of yours and see if it still works! If that knife isn't back in the kitchen by the time the governor locks up tonight we're all in deep shit and banged up 'til God knows when!

Shaken by this, Shaz confesses that she didn't take the knife...the others are aghast and are forced to fall back on plan B...namely, searching the other cells while the other inmates are occupied.

At the safe-house, Julie confesses to Monica that she hasn't been completely truthful with Trevor...he has no idea about the fact that she's a prostitute on an electronic tag, she doesn't want him to do a runner as soon as she's managed to get back in touch with him and she wants him to meet David...Monica's sympathises but urges Julie to tell him the truth...again, Julie makes it obvious that she's missing her partner in crime.

Back in Larkhall, Yvonne is keeping the inmates occupied whilst the others search the cells and Karen and Stubberfield look on disapprovingly...

Yvonne : How many screws does it take to change a light bulb?
Inmates : Dunno!
Yvonne : Six - one to take it out and five to beat the shit out of it 'cause it went on the blink! (Pause while she realises that the search hasn't produced the missing knife yet) Mr Fenner walks into a bar, he says to the barmaid - excuse me love, can I have a pint of lager? (Looks straight at Karen) She says - sorry love, we only do bottles!

The Fat Controller starts getting antsy and sees a possible riot developing and instructs Karen to start returning the inmates to their cells.

Meanwhile, Di's having a barking moment and surveys the McAllister shrine with tears in her eyes...but her mother shouts upstairs for attention and she starts to flip her lid...

Di : Go away, go away...(talking to Dominic's passport photo as the cries increase in volume)...make her go away, make her go away...

Ooops, her head's obviously just gone pop because she chucks down the passport and storms downstairs into her mother's room...

Di : You wanted me...(an audible slap is heard through the door)'ve got me!

Back in the kitchen, Nikki's come up with a cunning plan...

Nikki : A saucepan handle and a cutlery knife covered in silver foil...tape 'em together...(places makeshift knife in knife cupboard...voila! It's almost a perfect fit)...and there you have it.
Yvonne : (Pissing herself laughing) What do you think this it? Bleedin' 'Blue Peter'?
Nikki : You got any better ideas?

Well there you have it...Nikki 'sticky-backed-plastic' Wade's first crush was obviously on Valerie Singleton...there you are you see, beneath all that macho posturing, we knew she was a goody-two shoes really!!!

The following day, Julie arranges to meet up with Trevor and confesses that she isn't a holiday rep - her and Monica met up 'inside'...

Trevor : (Shocked) What did you do? Rob a bank?
Julie S : No, Iím a prostitute.
Trevor : (Even more shocked) What?
Julie S : A tart! I worked with me mates, we screwed the clients and we nicked their wallets.

AHA!!! So the mystery is finally revealed...the Julies weren't serving the world's longest sentences for soliciting...they were banged up for thieving!!! Well, it only took two and a bit series for it all to be explained!!!

So...Trevor's obviously devastated and Julie realises that there's no longer a chance of a reconciliation but begs him to be there for David before she flees leaving him staring into the Thames.

End of Part Three...

That's 10 buggery-bollocky adverts!!!!! Criminal!!!

Part Four...

Helen fans finally have something to make them sit up and take notice now...she has a scene...arriving the next morning to check in with Karen and the Fat Controller...oh, that's right Helen, you swan off home and leave my beloved stuck at the prison all night...if this carries on much longer I may be forced to donate my emergency 'Red Bull' supplies...but even after a long night, she still looks totally scrumptious...oooops, am I digressing again?

Helen : So how's it been?
Karen : So far so good.
Helen : See, if you trust them they can take care of themselves pretty well. (smug smile)
Karen : I have to admit, things have been running pretty smoothly.
Stubberfield : Well let's not go talking ourselves out of our jobs. (Ha! Coming from someone who's probably done the first full day's work in his life) We'd better be careful, imagine what the press would say if they found out that Larkhall was run better by the inmates rather than its officers! (Duh! I just knew he was going to say something like that then!!!)
Helen : Don't worry Simon, your secret's safe...and on the subject of secrets...(produces a file)...just so there aren't any between us.
Stubberfield : (Takes the file) What's this?
Helen : It's my report to Area's your copy, in case you've got anything you'd like to add.
Stubberfield : Thank you, nothing too shocking I hope.

Oh please...and the sound of retching noises around the country is mirrored by Karen's raised eyebrow as she hears this...

Helen : Well I certainly think there'll be a few raised eyebrows on the outside over lifers waiting on Sylvia's party...and the discipline of officers that night - not brilliant.
Stubberfield : You have a point of course.
Karen : What about Jim?
Helen : Well the attack on Jim was obviously pre-meditated, I can't find any evidence against him.
Stubberfield : Excellent then, I knew this investigation was in good hands.

Blimey!! This guy's got more front than Blackpool!!! Cue another raised eyebrow from the gorgeous one as we all sit there gasping...he thought Helen was about as effective as a chocolate bloody tea-pot when she was wing governor...funny how he changes his tune when she's in charge of an investigation that could find him at fault isn't it???

Stubberfield : Now all we have to do is get this place back to normal.
Helen : (Exchanges a look with Karen) Well, Iíve got things to get on with. (Leaves the room)
Karen : Me too. (Follows Helen)

The slimy bastard!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Stubberfield's only straight on the blower to Bodybag now he's been left on his own and in the clear!!!

LMAO!!! Denny and Shaz are serving breakfast...who's brilliant idea was it to put a convicted poisoner in charge of dolloping out the morning porridge??? Anyway, another digression...Nikki's wearing a new purple jumper and it's an extremely nice colour on her...if we could only work out a way to burn that hideous dressing-gown she could be almost presentable...

Anyway, there's still no sign of the knife and the Scooby gang are fast running out of ideas...

Barbara : So what do we do now?
Nikki : We've already searched all the cells and we're not the bloody DST and I don't want to be!!!

Nikki's obviously thinking back to her horrible experience at the hands of that scary woman who was pumped up with more steroids than Ben Johnson...hmmm, she could change her mind of course if she ever got the opportunity to give Helen a strip search...not that she'd make her squat over a mirror though because that would be just plain weird...Christ!! Can't you tell it's way past my bedtime???

Yvonne : Well all we can hope is that someone's taken it for a spot of whittling and will put it back before things get back to normal.

LMAO!!! Total class from Yvonne there...anyone who can make the word 'whittling' sound so bloody hilarious gets my vote...

At the school play, there's an emotional reunion for Julie and David before a bit of a dicey moment follows when David's English teacher comments on the fact that she's never been to a parent's evening...apparently, David's told him that she works abroad...Julie's a bit lost for words but at a moment like this you can trust good old Monica to jump into the breach...

Monica : That's right, in fact we've just flown in from New York...bit jet-lagged. (Shakes the teacher's hand) I'm Mrs Saunders' PA by the way.

On the way to their seats, Julie S points out the obvious to Monica...

Julie S : What was all that about being honest?
Monica : There are lies and there are white lies!

Julie comments on the fact that Trevor hasn't shown but keeps a seat free for him just in case.

Back on the wing, Barbara's having a bit of a panicky moment...

Barbara : I really think we should tell Miss Betts about this knife.
Nikki : No-one's gonna come after you with it!
Barbara : But someone might do themselves harm and I'd never forgive myself.
Nikki : If they were going to they'd've done it by now.
Barbara : Not necessarily.

The seeds of doubt have been sown now and Nikki's obviously starting to worry too...will she tell Helen or has she got something else up her sleeve?

Meanwhile, the Fat Controller is holding crisis talks with Bodybag who is adamant that the strike will continue...well, until the wily old geezer decides to bribe her with the offer of getting her pips back in exchange for her co-operation...well well, when it comes down to it, Bodybag's got the principles of a Tory politician and smiles smugly...something tells me it won't be long before normal service is resumed...but God knows how Karen's going to react to the news.

Nikki goes up to Enhanced to visit Yvonne who is testing out the free perfume samples from a magazine...

Nikki : How long do you reckon this is gonna go on for with all the screws off sick?
Yvonne : Not long enough...(looks down at magazine and then changes her mind)...nah! It's all a load of bollocks mind! I mean, kicking up all this fuss because Shell's been put back on the wing. Can't say I blame 'em (laughs)...which one of 'em would want to be left on their own with 'er again?
Nikki : Well Iíve got nothing against Shell for opening Fenner up like a handbag, it was long overdue if you ask me.
Yvonne : Yeah, Iím no fan.
Nikki : Good!
Yvonne : Well, it was expected really, he's just another paid-up member of the all men are bastards club. It's strange, now I come to think of it, Iíve never been with a bloke who was straight down the middle decent, all of 'em are bastards!

Well push me into the Pwll Mawr (that's 'The Big Pit' for those who don't speak Welsh) seriously looks like Yvonne might be on the verge of being seduced over to the other side...and it's obvious by the nervous look on Nikki's face that she's thinking the same thing...

Yvonne : Doesn't stop me wanting one though.
Nikki : Yvonne...(in a really serious tone that makes us wonder whether she might be on the verge of propositioning her)...just give me the knife.

Aha!!! So that's what the nervous look was about...phew!!!

Yvonne : (Looks at Nikki like she's just revealed that she's been shagging Babs...i.e. total and utter shock) You what? You goin' soft in the 'ead?
Nikki : I know you're going through a difficult time right now but give me the knife and let me help you.
Yvonne : I'm not suicidal you stupid cow! I just want a shag! And as far as helping me just haven't got the tackle! (starts to laugh)
Nikki : (Huge grin) Wanna bet?

Both collapse in laughter and there were a few text messages flying around the country at that point pointing out the fact that an Yvonne/Nikki relationship would be a hell of a lot more interesting than the Helen/Nikki stone me to death at dawn with bloody great rocks!!! But it's my synopsis and Iíll write what I want!!!

Back at the play...there's a bit of an emotional moment when Trevor arrives and sees his son for the very first time...he's wibbly, Julie's wibbly and we're beginning to think that Julie S might well be in for a happy ending...looks like there's at least one bloke out there who ain't a complete bastard.

Back in Yvonne's cell, Nikki's writing something down on a piece of paper...

Nikki : Here...(hands the piece of paper over to Yvonne)...he's an old mate of mine, he'll help you.
Yvonne : What's he gonna do? Whisper sweet nothings down the phone? I was after something a little more hands on.
Nikki : He runs a male-escort agency, very discreet, he's very sexy and very good so Iím told.
Yvonne : Great, I'll look him up in three years time if Iíve still got the urge.
Nikki : When was the last time you saw your solicitor?
Yvonne : Months ago.
Nikki : Well maybe it's time you got yourself a new one. Maybe you could find yourself someone young...someone up and coming...if you catch my drift.
Yvonne : Of course, get a private room when you see your brief.
Nikki : Exactly.
Yvonne : And this guys briefs will be packing more than his paperwork!

Again, Nikki erupts into laughter...oh blimey!!! These Nikki/Yvonne scenes have worked so well...please, please, please can we have more????

Back at the play, it's the old 'is this a knife I see before me' scene and...

Interruption from my mum at this point who screamed out...'It's him! He's got the knife!' So now do you see where I get it from???

And then suddenly the penny dropped for me...and for Julie S who is hit by a similar revelation...

Scene cuts to Julie J staring at a photo of Julie S whilst in buckets of tears and suddenly it all becomes even clearer...especially when she lifts up her sheet to reveal...the knife!!!

And at the play, Julie S is hit by a sense of impending doom and runs out of the play...

Julie S : I've gotta get back to Larkhall! It's Julie...she's in trouble Mon!

Julie J is holding the knife against her wrist and suddenly it's a mad dash as Trevor drives like the clappers to get Julie S back to Larkhall...

Will she get there in time??? Will she????

Julie S is banging at the gates but the screws won't let her back in...Julie J is getting ready with the knife and suddenly we're all screaming at the screen - DON'T DO IT JULIE!!!! But then Julie S sees her chance...a delivery van is leaving affording her the perfect opportunity to jump into Trevor's car and make a mercy dash before the gates close again...

And Julie J's about to slash her wrists...

Here's Julie S to the rescue...without a thought for the screw who has to risk life and limb by leaping out of the way she screeches to a halt only inches in front of the other screw who's obviously crapped himself when he realises how close he came to becoming hamburger...

But the day is saved...just as Julie J is about to do herself in she hears a commotion out at the gate and looks out of her window to see Julie S screaming at her through the sun roof of Trevor's car...Julie J is delighted and so are the rest of the inmates who start up a chant...


And the sight of Julie S struggling against the combined might of the POs on the gate even raises a smile from Shell...

Shell : Stupid mare!

Later on...Karen comes across Julie J staring at the knife cabinet and asks her what she's doing there...Julie J comes up with some excuse about being peckish and manages to put Karen off the scent...she returns to her cell and the last shot we see is of the knife which is finally back in its proper place...

G'night all...sweet dreams!!!  

Awards (by Coops and Filbertfox)

Top Dog of the Week
Yvonne by a long chalk. She's the undisputed guv'nor of Larkhall these days, though I am bit worried that someone's been slipping Viagra in her tea.

Nikki - she makes a great pimp *lol*

Monica for incredible displays of quick-thinking when jumping in to support Julie S's outrageous lies time and time again.

Twatting Twat of the Week
Julie S - she couldn't be in 2 places at once, and ended up letting down both the important people in her life. Yes she made it back to Larkhall in time, but she abandoned her son to do it. What effect will that have on her friendship with Julie J, sorry, Sonia?

Stubberfield looked like more of an arse than ever, doing a deal with Beelzebag.

Weedy Pigeon of the Week
You have to have some sympathy for Di Barking; big respect to anyone who has to act as someone's primary carer. It's little wonder she lives a fantasy life in her head; the shell-shocked look on her face when she heard Dom wasn't coming back said it all.

Julie J - has her application for an electronic tag turned down, has to wave adios to her bezzie mate, is faced with the indignity of Shaz and Denny taking over as the 'Anti-Julies' and very nearly tops herself.

Spin Doctor of the Week
Fenner again and he didn't even make an appearance. Completely exonerated by Helen's report? Pah!

Worst Girl of the Week
Di Barker for the assault on her mum. Anything could happen with that one - woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown or a murderous gun spree? Who knows. You certainly have to wonder why there's a bolt on the outside of the living room door...

The sadistic bastard at the BBC who scheduled Changing Rooms opposite BG. Torn between two gorgeous Scotswomen!

Best Line of the Week
Even without Bodybag's one-liners there were numerous contenders:

Helen: They're hardly going to escape, are they? [oh irony, thy name is Helen]

Julie J: Oh come on, it's only a pissing school play!

Julie J: And stop calling me Jue! My name is Sonia, I hate people calling me Jue, always have.

Julie S: Never mind the bricks, I'm shitting 3-bed bloody semis.

G-Wing Chorus: She'll be crutching rocks and jellies when she comes...

Julie S: Always was good with a tool in his hands, was Trevor.
[I don't know how Monica didn't have a tea-spitting moment... you have to assume that scene took more than a couple of takes!]

Yvonne: What do you think this is? Bleedin' Blue Peter?! [obviously, like every British dyke over 30, Nikki had a childhood crush on Valerie Singleton]

Yvonne: I'm not suicidal you stupid cow, I just want a shag.

Yvonne : Well all we can hope is that someone's taken it for a spot of whittling and will put it back before things get back to normal.
[Not a brilliantly funny line on its own but the way Yvonne says 'whittling' had me LMAO!!]

Worst Line of the Week
Helen: I am not calling your integrity into question, Karen. [Only 'cos you don't want the events of that night examined too closely.]

Nikki: What I'm saying is, if you're desperate for it, find someone on the same side of the wire. [was it just me, or did that sound like a total come-on?! In fact, the whole Nikki/Yvonne interaction this ep was bizarrely awash with subtext. I do hope Nikki was just winding her up.]

Josh: You're way too old for me. [not, sorry Yvonne you're not my type; not, my heart lies with another. Lame and insulting, not a good move.]

Warring Faction of the Week
There was a definite undercurrent between Helen and Karen...
Karen: Looking for me?
Helen: No, I don't think so!

But the award has to go to the Julies. Never thought anything would come between them, although sisterhood triumphed in the end.

Best Performance by an Extra
Oh it so has to be our Dawn, jigging along on the stairs to "She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain".

Sight of the Week
The return of Julie S to Larkhall was priceless, sticking her head and shoulders through Monica's sunroof and yelling at the top of her voice.

Monica! Bless her, it was good to see the posh bitch again.

The return of Nikki's dressing gown! We've now also seen her bra and heard her flip-flops. Just the donkey jacket required for a full house this season.

Nikki, Yvonne, Babs, Denny and Shaz having a council of war about the knife...was anyone else thinking the Scooby gang??

Larkhall Miracles and Mysteries
Yvonne's amazing libido. When she first entered Larkhall, her attempt to win Dominic over put Di in the shade - remember the Harley? Then season 2 saw her turn into the devoted wife of Charlie. Now she's after anything in trousers!

Bizarre-o-world - why does Josh deny all knowledge of having seen Crystal?

Interesting halfway house Monica runs, with one occupant. And I think it was more for our benefit than hers that Julie S explained electronic tagging in words of one syllable.

That PA system is a new addition.

So the Julies have moved cells. We noticed that the bunks had changed sides, now it seems they're now up on G2, conveniently facing the gatehouse. It was about time they got off Basic. And at last we have an explanation for why they are serving such long sentences - it's not just soliciting they're in for, but theft as well.

If Shell's officially back on Basic regime, what's she still doing in a cell up on G3?

When she and Denny were singing their version of 'Kumbyah' (s2ep12), Shaz's guitar technique was more than a little lacking...and now suddenly, she can play 'Scarboro Fair' flawlessly..has she been sneaking Burt Weedon in to give her lessons or what?

Oh have a convicted poisoner on the wing and what do you make her do? Work in the kitchens and serve your porridge!!! Are we sure that Yvonne's not suicidal?

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